Project governance is not project management, though some overlap occurs. Project governance is the framework within which decisions about the project are made. Project governance is a critical element of project; performing it badly, or not at all, will lead to the project's failure.
It is better to have any project governance process than none at all.
Governance in a project
Projects are not fixed. During a project, challenges will arise that will need to be dealt with. If these challenges are ignored, then what was originally a small question could turn into a major problem. If a project excessively focuses on issues as they occur, the project might fail to move forward. Having a project governance process in place will assist a project manager in handling concerns as they arise.
Project governance is primarily about decision making within the project and typically answers the following questions:
- Authority - Who makes the decision? Does that person have the experience and expertise to make the right decision?
- Process - How are decisions made? How do you balance impact analysis against the need for timely decisions?
- Evidence - What information is required to make a decision? How do you perform analysis of the impact?
Any governance process should be aligned with contractual terms for changes that are agreed to by the customer. Ideally, in the statement of work for a project, the decision-making process should be defined with the ultimate authority named.
Often, your customer, whether internal or external, will have their own governance process; however, this process might have gaps or might not be relevant to Microsoft Power Platform. Projects that are implemented by using Microsoft Power Platform can be different from projects that customers have previously experienced, and the existing governance process might not be relevant in the speed of decision making or in the level of required information. The solution architect needs to ensure that the governance process meets the needs of a Microsoft Power Platform project. A solution architect will need to either adopt the existing process or build a hybrid process.
If no process is in place, the solution architect should push for the creation of a governance process or create one themselves.
At a minimum, a project should assess:
- Risks - Documentation of risks, evaluation of risks, and risk mitigation that is implemented.
- Issues - Documentation of issues and a process for evaluation of issues.
- Changes - Documentation of changes and a formal change control process.
This module does not cover how to implement a governance process; however, it is concerned with making the solution architect aware that they must ensure that a governance process in place for the project that meets the needs of the project.
Your project governance experience
Consider the projects that you have worked on as a project team member and then answer these questions:
- How were issues logged?
- Who was allowed to raise an issue?
- Were issues evaluated?
- Who performed the evaluation?
- How were changes raised?
- Were these processes at the appropriate level for your project?
- How could you have improved them?
The next unit further explains the solution architect's role in project governance.